Over a year ago I wrote a post about using QuickBooks for church accounting. Since then some things have changed and I would like to write about some of those items here. For those of you who didn’t know that QuickBooks can be used for churches, surprise! The truth is QuickBooks is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, church accounting programs available.
QuickBooks has a nonprofit version. Unfortunately there site doesn’t advertise it well in my opinion. You go to the premier version and then you have to toggle an option to nonprofit. This nonprofit version has certain features that make it easier to use than QuickBooks Pro.
Can I use QuickBooks Pro for my church or nonprofit or do I need the Premier Nonprofit Version?
The answer to this question depends on your current expertise in accounting. The Premier version costs about $150 more than the pro version for a single user edition. Note that most small churches will only need a single user edition (it doesn’t mean that only one person can use it, it means that only one person can access the data at a time).
The main advantage of the nonprofit version is that it comes preprogrammed for nonprofits. This leaves a lot less room for your church clerks to make mistakes. Now, if you are already have a deep understanding of QuickBooks and you don’t mind customizing it a bit, then QuickBooks Pro may be the better option for you.
Some critics of the nonprofit version have said that the pro version simply changed “customers” to “donors” and “invoices” to “pledges.” While this is partially true there are some other advantages to the Non-Profit version.
- The Non-Profit version has a chart of accounts is preinstalled that is based on the Form 990 for nonprofits.
- The Non-Profit version comes with a sample nonprofit organization already set up and running. You can use this sample to understand how fund accounting works. This can be a real lifesaver to people who are new to fund accounting or QuickBooks.
- The Non-Profit version allows for more intuitive donation and contribution tracking
- Finally, the Non-Profit version comes ready to provide reports and letters specifically for non-profits. Remember that financial statements for nonprofits are quite different than their for-profit counterparts.
One advantage of QuickBooks over other types of church accounting software is that a lot of people are familiar with it. Even if your congregation is small, you might be surprised that someone has had at least a little experience using it. QuickBooks is fairly user friendly.
If you are looking to save your church some money note that if you follow any of the QuickBooks links on my website you will get 20% off.
One resource that I would highly recommend for those churches that are new to QuickBooks or new to NonProfits is “Running QuickBooks in NonProfits” by Kathy Ivens. You can find the book at Amazon for around $20. This book is a great resource on using both the NonProfit and Pro version for churches.
Still have more questions about using QuickBooks for churches? Place a comment below so I can answer it and other people will benefit from reading it as well.